The tough stance of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Washington’s imposing new metal tariffs with no exception to Ottawa has surprised the commentators and got support even from the country’s opposition politicians. Trudeau has not only launched the country’s largest trade action, but also deployed a harsh word offensive, contrasting to the most of his previous line.
Before this, Trudeau had been considered cautious on the international affairs and amiable with Donald Trump since the beginning of his term. After the US announcement about a 25% tariff on imported steel and 10% duties on aluminum and just days before a G7 meet-up of world leaders, Trudeau didn’t beat around the bush and blamed the White House for their lack of “common sense.”
"We have to believe that at some point common sense will prevail, but we see no sign of that in this action today by the US administration."
He also gave way to his aversion to the recent measure on Twitter, slamming the trade measures.
American tariffs on Canadian aluminum & steel are unacceptable. As we have said, we will always stand up for our workers, and today we’re announcing retaliatory measures to this attack on our industry.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) 31 мая 2018 г.
Canada will also challenge these illegal & counterproductive measures under NAFTA Chapter 20 and at the WTO. It is simply ridiculous to view any trade with Canada as a national security threat to the US and we will continue to stand up for Canadian workers & Canadian businesses.— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) 31 мая 2018 г.
Ottawa has introduced retaliatory tariffs against US products totaling 16.6 billion Canadian dollars ($12.8 billion). Since July 1, US steel and aluminum will be taxed with 25%fees, while consumer goods such as ketchup, orange juice, sailboats and washing machines will be liable for 10% duties. Canada also filed a pair of complaints to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) panel to address the US unilateral tariffs.
The reaction didn’t wait too long. Donald Trump fired back with a Tweet, lambasting Canada’s stance on the trade.
Canada has treated our Agricultural business and Farmers very poorly for a very long period of time. Highly restrictive on Trade! They must open their markets and take down their trade barriers! They report a really high surplus on trade with us. Do Timber & Lumber in U.S.?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 1 июня 2018 г.
Other Americans and Canadians on the contrary seemed to love the new, tougher version of Trudeau and applauded the move.
Please retweet— Deb or Debbie but definitely not Deborah or Debra (@msdjb3) 1 июня 2018 г.
Our PM #Trudeau stood up to @realDonaldTrump today & these first few lines of our National Anthem explain why!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all of us command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
So proud of PM @JustinTrudeau! He showed a true leadership today. Doesn't matter you support @liberal_party or not, it's time to be united against #Trump. We have different point of views but we all love our #Canada #steeltariffs #NATO #USA #Trudeau #cdnpoli #NAFTA #TradeWars— Termeh Kousha (@TermehKousha) 31 мая 2018 г.
#Canada's prime minister rejects any and all attempt's by Trump and his worm @VP to extort his nation. Proud of Canada.#Trudeau says NAFTA talks broke down after #Pence made ultimatum https://t.co/8dNq4KzWcp— Dr. David Romei (@DavidRomeiPHD) 1 июня 2018 г.
As an American, I say Bravo Mr. Trudeau! You are an example of how to lead honorably. It is unfortunate so many Americans are living through this time in mortification. We can always dream #Trump will get tired of all the (non)winning and #Resign ❤— Heather Cernero (@hcernero) 1 июня 2018 г.
The support also came from Trudeau's political opponents.
When Canada is under attack, we unite. Country first. The actions announced today by @cafreeland and @JustinTrudeau are measured and appropriate. We have seen this before, we will do what is necessary.— James Moore (@JamesMoore_org) 31 мая 2018 г.
However, the move hasn’t been agreeable with everyone.
Plenty of tough guy talk against the US, but nothing but open arms for returning ISIS terrorists. Nice to see you have your priorities in order. Good luck with that.— Mr. J22 (@jyadh1) 2 июня 2018 г.
Trudeau time to put your big boy pants on…. and for once be the Prime Minister tax the SHIT out of Trump. They need our resources well tax them for all of them.— Gord MacMillan (@AmazonGord) 1 июня 2018 г.
Oh no………….where will we buy our maple syrup??? GASP!!— Hal Jalikakik (@awsure) 2 июня 2018 г.
University of Ottawa professor Patrick Leblond, cited by the French media outlet AFP, said Trudeau's recent swagger "will help the Liberals in the next election." Right before the showdown with Trump, keeping up with his tough guy line in the inner arena, Trudeau also decided to save the controversial Trans-Mountain pipeline project, which had been suspended by Texas-based investors.
His Liberal government approved a $4.5 billion plan to buy it, with potential billions’ cost for expansion in the name of energy security. Opposition parties slammed Trudeau for the move, which they claimed had potentially negative consequences for the environment and was a waste of taxpayers’ money. Protests against it kicked off.
#Trudeau's clumsy politics devalued #kindermorganpipeline Now he values it more than ever because this issue has diminished public confidence in his ability to govern. So now he will pay billions of Cdn tax dollars for a pipeline no private company wants.— Charles Adler (@charlesadler) 29 мая 2018 г.